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Why is My Mouth Dry?

A dry mouth occurs when salivary glands in the mouth don’t produce enough saliva. This is most commonly the result of dehydration (meaning that you are not ingesting enough water to produce enough saliva). It’s also not uncommon for your mouth to feel dry if you’re anxious or nervous.

why is my mouth dry

Persistent dry mouth (known as xerostomia) can be a side effect of underlying problems or medical conditions. Find out the causes and treatments of dry mouth by reading our dentist‘s article below.



Certain prescriptions can cause dry mouth, including some antidepressants, antihistamines, and diuretics (water pills). If you are taking these types of medications and are experiencing dry mouth, you can check the leaflet that comes with your meds to see if it is a common side effect. Of course, you can also always ask your doctor or local pharmacist.

Stuffy Nose

This one is a little more obvious—breathing through your mouth (especially while sleeping) can dry your mouth out.


As a disorder which causes a person’s blood glucose levels to become too high, which is called hyperglycemia, diabetes can cause dry mouth to occur in people who are diagnosed with it. Furthermore, over time, high blood glucose levels can cause kidney problems, which also can cause dry mouth.


Radiation therapy to the head and neck can cause the salivary glands to become inflamed (which is called mucositis), which may limit the amount of saliva being produced.

Sjogren’s Syndrome

This is a disorder of the immune system, and the two main symptoms are dry eyes and a dry mouth. Drying of the mouth occurs because the condition causes the immune system to attack the salivary glands.

Subsequent Problems

Because saliva plays an important role in keeping your mouth healthy, the lack of it can cause other symptoms, including:

  • A burning sensation or soreness in the mouth
  • Dry lips
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • A decreased or altered sense of taste
  • Recurrent mouth infections (like oral thrush)
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Difficulty speaking, eating, or swallowing.

If you have dry mouth, you should see your dentist regularly and maintain good oral hygiene practices to reduce the risk of dental problems.


After your doctor or dentist determines what is causing your dry mouth, treatment can improve your symptoms. If it is caused by medication, your dosage may be reduced. Moreover, if it’s because of diabetes, insulin can help. For nasal problems, decongestants can open your nostrils and allow for easy breathing. A medication called pilocarpine may be prescribed for those undergoing radiotherapy or diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, however, this medication may not be suitable for everyone and has side effects, such as excessive sweating or headaches can occur.

There are also saliva supplements that can be taken—in the form of a spray, gel, or lozenge.

But there are also some things you can try yourself, including:

  • Increase your fluid intake
  • Suck on sugar-free sweets or chew sugar-free gum to stimulate your salivary glands
  • Suck on ice cubes
  • Avoid alcohol, smoking, and caffeine, all of which can make dry mouth worse.

Reach Out to Our Dentist If You Are Wondering Why Your Mouth is Dry

As you just read, there are a variety of causes of dry mouth, and luckily, there’s several treatments of dry mouth as well. If you are wondering why your mouth is dry, schedule an exam with our dentist by scheduling an appointment at one of our two locations.

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Creating Smiles, PC, located in St. John and Valparaiso, Indiana, offers everything you need for a healthy smile and a healthier life. Dr. Kapers and his team can take the anxiety and uncertainty out of dental visits with sedation dentistry, and we're the premier provider of dental implants in the region.